Nothing changes your life like the moment you become parents. The stuff in your life increases, the amount of sleep decreases. We didn’t want our gallivanting days to be over, so when our first child arrived this January, we wanted to take a long-ish trip away to somewhere new, but also take it easy since it would be our first time travelling with an infant. Needless to say our things no longer fit into a backpack and our baby now travels with more things than we do! We decided on three weeks in Mexico split between an all-inclusive in Puerto Vallarata and a boutique hotel in Sayulita. (Upcoming post about the pros and cons of each with a baby). Here were the things that made our trip both more functional and enjoyable with our little guy:
Pea Pod: Much to our surprise many hotels do not guarantee a crib will be available for you to use during your stay. (How they are not able to track this in an inventory system in relation to your reservation I don’t know). This put us on the search for something light and portable we could pack that wouldn’t cost us an extra piece of luggage. This is where I stumbled upon the Pea Pod by Kid Co. on a baby swap site. This handy tent structure can be used pool side or at the beach for extra shade and comes with a blow up mattress and cover for sleeping at night time. The best part is that it blocks out some of the light from your baby’s sleeping area so that you don’t have to hang out in your room in complete darkness after your baby has gone to bed. Although having to hang out in a darkened room for a few hours with your hubby does have some advantages, but I digress.
Night Light(s): If you don’t want to find yourself stumbling around in the dark in a new hotel room for a middle of the night feeding and/or diaper change, make sure you bring a night light and adaptor, if necessary, to better illuminate those middle of the night wake ups.
Baby Wrap/Carrier: Perfect for keeping your hands free, invest in at least one good baby carrier to help you get around. While our Bob Revolution stroller is great for long walks around town, it is bulky and can’t be used on the beach . Our Ergo 360 carrier is a lifesaver for carrying our rather hefty four month old around town. The front facing position let’s him explore our new surroundings, and then when it’s time for a rest I flip him around. If you’re travelling by plane a soft wrap like the Baby Beluga bamboo carrier is great for keeping your little on all snuggled up on your lap during the flight and also acts as a cover for breastfeeding if needed. Not sure about what carrier is right for you? Check out this comprehensive guide from Babble.com.
Portable Baby Chair: While carrying your baby around in your arms is precious, sometimes you just need a safe place to put your little one down while you eat/pee/take a shower etc. Good news — most of the simple baby bouncing chair break down into a few main parts making it easy to fit into your luggage and only a couple of minutes to assemble on the other end. Worth it for the 5, or 10 or maybe even 15 minutes of hands free time. If your baby is old enough a Jolly Jumper is another item that doesn’t take up much space in your suitcase and can provide your baby with a bit of exercise while you get ready for the day.
Sun Suit and Cloth Swim Diaper: The days of lounging by the pool in the sun are over once you have a baby. You become shade obsessed — worried about how even a single ray of a sun may find its way to your baby’s head. A full length swim suit is a must have to protect your baby’s skin if there’s no shade in the pool. For the swim diapers — we found a cloth reusable diaper to be more practical since our little guy was only spending 10 to 20 minutes in the pool each time, it seemed like such a waste to throw out a disposable diaper after so little use. Not to mention the cloth swim diapers come in super cute prints and take up far less space in your luggage than if you were packing a whole case of disposables.
Anything else you would add to this list? What’s been your life saver when travelling with an infant?